We had the good fortune of connecting with DECHEN HAWK and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi DECHEN, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve been a musician my whole life. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve always enjoyed making my own schedule and working in the gig economy. As an adult, it became clear that being an independent musician by default, I was running a small business. And I figured it would be wise to take advantage of that by legally starting my own LLC.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Mine’s a story about connection. The seeking of it. The creating it. The longing for it. The feeling of elation when I have it. And the feelings of pain and sorrow when I don’t. Sometimes it’s about connecting with others. Sometimes it’s about connecting with myself. Other times it’s about connecting with the divine, or the muse. I create music to express myself, and what I am feeling. The way I do that is as unique as I am. But what I’m feeling is universal and connects us all. I started making art to express what I was feeling especially after my father died when I was 14 years old. I found the experience to be healing and cathartic. Later I came to realize that it was healing and cathartic for others to hear and experience it. My mission in creating art is to heal, transform, and uplift others. To bring us together and create a sense of community in our shared experiences. My path as an artist has not been easy, but it’s something I have to do, and so I found a way. I overcame the challenges in my way through persistence, flexibility, and resilience. I believe that my music makes a difference in my life and the lives of others. That’s my purpose. That’s also what excites me. Seeing healing and transformation in the people’s lives that I touch through my art.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my best friends is coming to town this summer and I’m so excited to see him and to go adventuring together. One of the things I’m most excited about doing together is hiking up to the continental divide via the Hesse Trailhead in Eldora, CO. It’s a hike I’ve done several times on my own, but never got to share with someone else. It’s gorgeous that time of year. The weather is cooler up there. I wrote a whole blog about one of my adventures there on my website with photos and a video put to music. I live in Lyons, CO so we’d probably grab supplies at The Saint Vrain Market. Head up Highway 7 towards the peak-to-peak highway, through Nederland, CO, and up to the town of Eldora, CO. The hike is about fourteen miles round trip and the elevation is over thirteen thousand at the divide. Afterward, we’d likely grab a beer and some BBQ in Nederland, CO at Busey Brews Smokehouse & Brewery. It’ll also be my birthday while he’s here. We grew up together in Boulder, CO so we’ll likely enjoy a summer evening talking and walking around downtown, grabbing a drink here and there at places like the Bitter Bar and Black Cat. My buddy is going to stay at a hotel so we’ve got to spend some time hanging out by the pool. I also love Fort Collins. It would be fun to take a trip of to Horsetooth Dam and do some paddle boarding. In the past, we’ve spent most of his trips camping up in the Red Feather Lakes area. We both love the outdoors, a good cocktail, quality food, and good conversation. A dip in the creek is also always a good time. A great reset on a hot day.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
That’s a great and tough question for me. Part of my struggle has been how much I’ve felt I’ve had to do on my own and around a lack of the kind of support, mentorship, love, and encouragement I’ve yearned for from others. That said, when people did show up in my life to support me, mentor me, love me, and encourage me, it meant the world to me. I’ve gained enough insight over the years through therapy and introspection to see how my behavior and choices were rooted in childhood trauma. I see how I kept people at arm’s length to protect myself, which ironically kept their support, mentorship, love, and encouragement at arm’s length as well. This knowledge is liberating. And I’ve been doing a lot of work to heal and be open to the word and to receive the efforts, support, mentorship, love, and encouragement of others.

Some of the people I’d like to give shoutouts to are my high school band teachers, Ben Senterfit and Todd Weiner. They supported and encouraged my musical growth through high school and beyond and mentored me in the life of a musician helping me get gigs and letting me sit in on their gigs. Musician Brad Upton was also a great support to me throughout the years as both a mentor and teacher. He effectively gave me the knowledge of getting a master’s in music without going to school. I want to thank all of my bandmates for supporting my vision and my art and for being my friends. Drummer Josh Stohl has been a lifelong support. We’ve collaborated on many albums even when living in separate parts of the world. Robbie Nevil befriended me, invited me into his musical world, mentored me, and co-wrote with me. Elliot Hunt produced and engineered one of my albums, mentored me, and introduced me to the world of synch licensing. And now I’m a member of The Music District in Fort Collins, CO a dynamic gathering hub, workspace, and creative playground for contemporary musicians and members of the Northern Colorado music industry to create, connect, and level up. Their support has been instrumental in helping me reach my next goals.

Website: https://dechenhawk.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dechenhawk/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dechen-hawk-486151201/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DechenHawk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DechenHawkMusic/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/dechenhawk

Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2u2NgvmoaBumYxGty1JmB5?si=MYh4c1ezSOOKsCGC5WZlTQ Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/dechen-hawk/356765320 Bandcamp: https://dechenhawk.bandcamp.com/ Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/dechenhawk

Image Credits
Red Aspen Photography Angie Barnes Ashley Davis Sean Hagwell

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